Schmitt on the road with The Davisson Brothers Band
Most WVU Mountaineer football fans are probably able to recall fullback Owen Schmitt's commanding field presence from 2005-2007.
Schmitt, a walk-on with the Mountaineers, rushed for more than 1,000 yards during his college career and racked up more than 100 knockdown blocks. In the 2008 NFL draft, Schmitt was selected in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks for a four-year contract.
Schmitt was released by the Seahawks in September 2010, and went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he scored his first career touchdown after a five-yard pass from quarterback Michael Vick. Schmitt was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2012 for one year, and is currently listed as a free agent.
After five years in the NFL, Schmitt has a little more time on his hands and found himself in Pocahontas County recently. He said it wasn't his first time to the area.
“I always used to do an annual snowboarding trip with my buddies from high school every year,” Schmitt said. “It's awesome here. Snowshoe is awesome. I haven't hung out much around town, but I've got nothing but good things to say about this place.”
Originally from Gilman, Wisconsin, Schmitt said he had an apartment in Oakland, California while he played with the Raiders, but he lives in West Virginia now. He said having a chance to play on the Mountaineer squad was incredible.
“I had some great relationships, met some great friends — bled blue and gold,” he said. “It's kind of tough to describe in words.”
Schmitt started playing guitar about four years ago and that's what brought him back to the area. When he's got the time, he plays on stage with The Davisson Brothers Band, of Clarksburg, and he said they've been a huge influence on him music-wise.
The Davisson Brothers played a show at The Fiddlehead in Slaty Fork Sunday night, and Schmitt hopped on stage to play a few tunes. He said he's been to The Fiddlehead before, and he was enjoying himself.
“It's a real laid back atmosphere. Chill people, good music,” joked Schmitt. “We're always treated well, and it's always a great time.”
The Davisson Brothers Band consists of brothers Chris Davisson on guitar, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Donnie Davisson, cousin Sammy Davisson on bass guitar, and childhood friend Aaron Regester on drums.
“We been doing this since we were teenagers, about 15 years,” said Chris. “It's our own brand of music. It fits on country radio, it goes over well at festivals and fairs but if you had to call it one thing — it'd be country.”
Donnie said the band met Schmitt when they played at a ski resort in western Maryland.
“We were playing at the Wisp,” explained Davisson. “He was sitting in the front row all night and we never knew. I kept looking at him and thinking 'man, I know that guy.' He was digging on my brother's guitar playing and after the show he came up to us and told us how he liked it. I said 'what the heck's your name, man?' He said 'Owen', and I knew right away.”
Davisson said the next night the band was scheduled to play in Morgantown and they invited Schmitt to tag along.
“We taught him a “G” chord on a guitar and he played with us at the end of the night. We ended up drinking a few beers and going back to my house — and he stayed for a month,” laughed Donnie. “It was real cool, man.”